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Ecological Stewardship at Goshen College

Controlled burn of campus prairies for the first time

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The Goshen College prairie near the retention pond area by the athletic complex as part of a controlled burn to help manage the native landscape (Photo by Jodi H. Beyeler/Goshen College Communications and Marketing Office)

April 4, 2013

The campus was ablaze, but all was well. For the first time, several acres were burned (south of the Newcomer Center and the retention pond area by the athletic complex) as part of a management plant to establish the prairie and control non-native weeds. The controlled burn was led by Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Ryan Sensenig, with assistance from biology student assistants and Sustainability Coordinator Glenn Gilbert. The fire department was on hand, as well as a few curious observers who gave standing ovations for the rabbits as they escaped the flames and ran for their lives.

In recent years, Goshen College has restored 12 acres of lawn to native landscaping (only part of this was burned today). In order to promote this native landscape, it is very helpful to simulate naturally occurring fires. For more background on this project, read this.

View more photos from the controlled prairie burn.

Read more about this from The Elkhart Truth and Goshen News.

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